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An insider’s guide to job hunting

12 Apr 15:00 by Amy King

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Keen to dial back some of the stress and frustration of job seeking?

Below is my “insider’s” guide, from a recruiter’s point of view, to standing out from the crowd.

Application stage

  • Always tailor your CV and cover letter to the position you’re applying for and articulate your motivation. Generic CVs with little or no effort put into a cover letter does not convey someone hungry for the role.

  • Spell check and have someone else read over your application for grammatical errors.

  • Have a professional email address and ensure you have a professional voicemail message on your phone – as much as you might have grown attached to the email address you created in your younger days, if it’s anything like “hotstuff97” or “therealyeezy01”, there’s a good chance you’ve just sabotaged all the hard work you’ve put into finessing your CV.

  • Consider what can be found on your social media feeds as this is something potential employers may look at before deciding to pick up the phone to discuss your application.

Interview stage

  • Research, research, research!

    • Be clear on the details of the role and be prepared to reinforce why you are motivated to take on the particular position and why the organisation is one you want to commit to.  

    • Review the company website and any related content online about the company’s history and achievements for discussion points.

    • You may also find reviews from previous employees online that can help you articulate why you see their business as one you would want to work hard for.

    • Learn about your interviewers via their LinkedIn page, understand their position and experience and this may also provide an opportunity to add a personal touch to your interview if you can relate to any of their background.

  • Be on time and dress appropriately for the role.

  • Read the tone of your interviewers and match your communication style appropriately, although be careful not to become too informal or familiar.

  • Do not use the interview as an opportunity to unleash about your previous employer, it is an interview not a therapy session.

  • Ask questions but steer clear of the first question being about salary or benefits. An example of a strong question would be to ask the interviewer why they enjoy working for the business. It’s also ok to ask what the next steps might be and how long the process is expected to take.

Follow up

  • Post-interview, send an email thanking your interviewers for their time and re-cap why you would be excited to be offered the position.

  • Have solid references available and prepare your referees that they may receive a call and give them detail on the role/s you are applying for.

  • If unsuccessful, be open to receiving feedback as this can be really useful for subsequent applications and can put you in good stead for being considered for future opportunities with that organisation or recruiter.

Finally, if you are facing rejection on an ongoing basis and feel deflated, do whatever you can to stop it reflecting in your demeanour. Seek emotional support from friends and family but remain positive and upbeat (even if you have to fake it!) when communicating with your recruiter and/or prospective employer and try and absorb the learning opportunities from each process.

Best of luck with your job hunt!